In The Netherlands
Posted on: Mar 18, 2021

Important things you need to know about moving to the Netherlands from Greece

Mike Klianis

This post is also available in Dutch

Are you planning on moving from Greece to the Netherlands? Do not worry! I am a Dutch national living in Greece for more than 25 years and I represent KAE International Movers, a removals company with one of its branches in my adopted hometown Athens.

I have known KAE International since 2004, when we both worked for the logistics of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. After successfully managing that interesting project together, we have been connected since. With the right preparation, I can tell you as a local that moving to Holland is a piece of (Dutch) cake!


Thinking of moving to the Netherlands?

Being part of the EU, Greek citizens face fewer bureaucratic and custom restrictions moving to The Netherlands in comparison to third-country citizens. However, organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. KAE International Movers has the experience to offer essential services and knowledge to help you move to (and from) the Netherlands easily.

I spoke with the KAE Operations Manager Michael Kae, and asked him more about moving to Holland.

Q: Michael, in your opinion, what is the most important thing to take into consideration when moving to The Netherlands?

Well, it really depends on what you want to take with you because the volume will help you choose the method of transport and most importantly, the cost of moving.

If you are looking at moving essential goods which will be fairly small volume, say from 1 pallet (120cm L x 100cm W x 200cm H) and up to 25cbm (a normal-sized local truck 6 to 7 meters in length) then the road freight option maybe your best option. Once your household goods are packed and ready to depart, it usually takes between 5 - 8 days for the goods to arrive at our associated warehouse in The Netherlands. This is indeed a very good option for people who require faster service. The road freight option also gives the flexibility of moving with the minimum of transport documents required between both Greece and the Netherlands.

However, for people or families who have larger volumes (25+ CBM), it is suggested that we offer them the sea freight option as well in order for them to make comparisons that will lead them to make the right decision in which transport method best suits them. In some cases, families who tend to have that additional extra volume to take with them, usually need more time to find a residence that is suitable for their family and this process of finding the correct household could take a few months.

Most of the time, these families are looking for the ideal house even before the packing at origin begins. Other times we see that people would rather deal with the packing of their goods and then deal with the “house hunting” when they arrive in the Netherlands. This is why we also recommend the sea freight option since the transit time beginning from the time the goods are packed up to the time the goods arrive at the port, could take approx. 25 - 30 days. Within this time frame, it gives you that extra time to look for that ideal household, otherwise if it was shipped by road, the goods would arrive earlier, and you would also pay the extra in storage costs.

Sea freight options for larger volume also tend to be more economical, but it all comes down to the exact needs of each customer. We have also had many customers who have chosen to load a full truck load (70cbm) because the road option is what they needed. While the sea freight option may be more economical for larger volumes, it also comes with that extra customs process of providing additional customs documentation, but it is nothing too complicated.


Q: How does a customer determine what is the best option for him/her?

Usually, the best option for a customer is the most economical one. That’s top of the list! But that is not to say that everyone chooses that option because everyone’s needs are different. The options also vary due to timing. Other’s want to take their time, and we therefore recommend the Sea Freight. Others need their goods quite fast, and we therefore recommend the Road Freight. In some cases, people don’t mind waiting for the majority of their goods to arrive later, but they also need a few things that are essential to them which they would require sooner. For those who require both, the solution is to offer a combination of both Sea and Road or even Sea and Air Freight, so that the essential items get there either within 2-3 days (Air freight) or within a week (Road freight).

Q: Can you tell us a bit more about the costs involved?

The price of shipping your items depends on a few critical things whereby the most common denominators are the volume and how quickly you want your belongings to get there. Then you have secondary services that can influence costs such as, what floor level are you moving from or going to? Will you pack things yourself? Are the access conditions at both origin or destination difficult that will require additional handling? You might even require a high value item to be crated such as a piano or a work of art. You may also require some temporary storage.


Q: What are the legal requirements & customs regulations for moving to the Netherlands?

The Netherlands does not impose rigid rules on the importation of personal belongings. They can enter the country without major problems or taxation. However, if you wish to bring food with you, it might get a little more complicated as the country has some notable restrictions for it. Here’s a summarized list of prohibited and restricted items.

Prohibited and restricted items in the Netherlands:

Hunting and shooting firearms require a permit issued by the Dutch authorities

Medicines: To import medicines, a manufacturing licence issued by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is required. Medications must be for personal use. Owners of the goods should request a medical passport from a general practitioner to verify the personal use of the medication.

Plants / flowers / fruits / vegetables: These items require a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin declaring the items healthy and free from diseases. If a phytosanitary certificate is unavailable, Customs will confiscate the items.

Animal Products / Food Items: A health certificate is required for the import of these items, including but not limited to, cheese, milk, eggs, meat, meat products, animal skins, and hunting trophies. The health certificate must be issued by the authorities of the origin country at the time the goods are imported. All animal products and food items are subject to veterinary examination upon arrival. Goods of animal origin, including food items, are subject to special requirements.

Powdered milk, baby food, and special food items for medical purposes may be imported provided certain requirements are met.

You cannot bring the following items to the Netherlands:

Weapons and ammunitions

Toy or fake weapons that imitate real ones

Alcohol / Cigarettes / Tobacco

Q: Being Dutch, I know that the housing market in Holland can be a challenge. What if a customer moves to a temporary house use or an unfurnished place?

When relocating to the Netherlands, there is indeed a high chance you will move to an unfurnished place as they are the most common option. That is why bringing your furniture along is not a bad idea.

Long Term or Temporary Storage Solutions

In that case, choosing an appropriate storing facility for your household items is important. That way you will be ready to make your new house a home as soon as you arrive in the Netherlands. Renting out safe storage space, whether for the short or long term, is a service that any professional moving company will provide for you and so does KAE International Movers. We will also help you to plan and ship them in advance.

Relocating to the Netherlands? Make it stress-free with KAE International Movers!

About KAE International Movers

KAE International Movers specializes in relocation services, international moving of household goods, personal effects, office effects, and art high-value items. The clientele includes embassies, state and private organizations, multinational companies, executives, expats, individuals, art collectors, graduate students, and many more. KAE International movers have worldwide coverage on every continent, based on certified reliable partners and affiliate offices in more than 30 countries.

Your trusted transport connection between Holland and Greece

KAE International Movers have weekly transports between Greece and The Netherlands and deliver everywhere in the country. KAE provides you with moving services plus transportation, logistics, and storage solutions in Holland and Greece.

Make it easy with KAE moving, settling-in, and other essential services!

The KAE International Movers team are local experts experienced to help you move to the Netherlands or back to Greece, move your household goods, and settle into your new country. They will get your belongings from Greece to Holland (or the other way around) safely and on time.

Visit and contact KAE International Movers today to jump start your move, and begin your preparations with for moving to The Netherlands.

Mike Klianis

Celeste is a Dutch national living in Greece for more than 25 years. She has worked in international companies such as Nutricia, Schenker and Coca-Cola Hellenic. Passionate about Greece, Celeste is a member of Travel Bloggers Greece and shares her family travel stories on Family Experiences Blog. An online platform about family life and travel in Greece with Kids.